|Boys and their toys: Members of the Malheur County (Oregon) SWAT team out having "fun."|
"Wouldn't it be great if it were like this all the time?" commented a pleasant middle-aged gentleman as the two of us contemplated the large gathering of armed men in camouflage who had materialized in Payette's Centennial Park. "I feel really secure with these guys around."
"Actually, I'd feel much more secure if the guns were in the hands of people who aren't government employees," I replied, prompting a puzzled look from my new acquaintance.
Centennial Park is located just inside the Snake River boundary separating Idaho from Oregon. For reasons I've yet to learn, every time I visit the park to do calisthenics and sprints -- regardless of the hour of day -- I'll receive a visit from at least one police officer, who will typically do a very slow pass by my little exercise area while I'm huffing and sweating.
On this particular afternoon, however, the park was literally swarming with camouflage-clad "police" from the Malheur County Sheriff's Department Emergency Response Team, in the company of at least one Payette County officer. They arrived in a caravan of more than a half-dozen vehicles, one of which was pulling a trailer carrying a large motorboat.
"Are you guys doing a training exercise?" I inquired of one fellow as he unpacked what appeared to be an AR-15.
"We're just playin,'" he replied with a perfunctory smile.
That response was quite similar to the description offered by SWAT team member Michael Hale of a training exercise conducted just a few weeks earlier just outside of Vale, Oregon.
"This is fun," the second-year officer told the Argus Observer. "This is what I did in the military. I get to shoot guns and play in the dirt. It is what I did as a kid. I just get paid for it now."
Although the Malheur County SWAT team did play a backup role at a police roadblock during a recent carjacking episode, they spend most of their time arresting marijuana plants. On two occasions last summer, SWAT operators -- armed with assault rifles and with support from a helicopter crew -- were deployed to barren locations in rural Oregon to clear out marijuana grows, thereby doing their part in the federal government's "drug lord" price support program.
|Malheur County's gorgeous Leslie Gulch.|
An August 29 SWAT raid on an abandoned marijuana grow near Gold Creek harvested some 1,000 forlorn, dessicated plants, "It was not a very big garden," commented Malheur County Undersheriff Brian Wolfe (who, as it happens, was in Boy Scout Troop 453 with me as a youngster). "A lot of the plants had already died out," Wolfe explained, emphasizing that the operation was a success because the plants that had been seized wouldn't end up "on the streets."
Why was the involvement of a SWAT team "necessary" here? Wolfe insisted that this was necessary for "public safety," since hunters and campers occasionally stumble across marijuana farmers, some of whom "have been found with multiple firearms in the past."
I'm not confident that "public safety" is enhanced by this use of paramilitary operators. "Officer safety," on the other hand, probably is. During the August 29 operation the SWAT team advanced under cover of pre-dawn darkness. In such situations it's important to exploit every advantage, marijuana plants being notoriously violent when cornered.
This odd and pointless exercise in rural landscaping became a federally subsidized, multi-state enforcement action when agents of the Bureau of Land Management (yes, those folks are armed as well) arrested a couple of people in Idaho "in connection with" the abandoned marijuana garden.
Malheur County is a huge and beautiful swath of territory in eastern Oregon that runs parallel to western Idaho all the way to the Nevada border. Vale, the tiny town that serves as the county seat, is located along the Oregon Trail and attracts many tourists eager to yank trout from nearby Bully Creek Reservoir or snag a few pheasants. Neighboring Nyssa proudly calls itself the "Thunderegg Capital of the World," a reference to the volcanic geode that serves as Oregon's state rock. Another product of the region's turbulent geologic past is the Malheur Butte, an extinct volcano that presides over the western section of the county like a brooding ursine sentinel.
When Daryl Gates created the first SWAT team in 1968, its advertised purpose was to deal with hostage situations, bank robberies, insurrectionary urban crime, and other high-risk incidents.
|Enigmatic landmark: Oregon's Malheur Butte.|
The same is true of Payette County, Idaho, which is located on the eastern side of the Snake River and forms part of the bi-state Treasure Valley. Yet federal seed money is being spent to build SWAT teams in both of these thinly populated rural counties as part of the "war on terror."
The Department of Homeland Security, working through Idaho State University and a quasi-private entity called the Government Training Institute (GTI), recently completed the first national training course intended to develop "type III" SWAT teams. The 16-day training program, which the Idaho Statesman reports was "conducted inside an old airplane hangar in Eagle near Old Horseshoe Bend Road," drew SWAT trainees from across the country to be trained in military tactics by Special Forces operators.
"The next time a terrorist act happens, it's not going to be [a matter of] flying airplanes into a building, it's going to be something locally," insists Detective Pat Weber from the Payette County Sheriff's Office. Weber is "looking forward to getting the rest of his team trained and categorized," continues the Statesman. "That way Payette can join Malheur County's SWAT team or any other" the unlikely event that the Islamo-Fascists turn their attention to the strategically crucial Treasure Valley. The joint exercise at Centennial Park appeared to be a prelude to inter-agency cooperation of that kind.
According to the Statesman, "the course is something every SWAT team member [in the country] will eventually graduate from -- that is if they want to keep their federal funding." In fact, the training is paid for through Homeland Security grants to local police departments. So the Feds are subsidizing the same training they require SWAT teams to have in order to qualify for even more federal subsidies.
The Homeland Security Department's decision to use Boise as a training site for national SWAT training makes an interesting counterpoint to the Idaho state government's high-profile and low-content posturing about "states' rights." But let it not be forgotten that this is a national program intended to bring all SWAT teams firmly under federal control. As the GTI's Type III Swat Operator's School Course Description points out, "The preparedness of state and local SWAT teams in the United States is one of the major initiatives of the Department of Homeland Security."
Of course, the question is, or should be: "Preparedness" for what? The Treasure Valley isn't likely to experience a tsunami of violent crime, or find itself under siege by Muslim sleeper cells. But there is a growing possibility of organized resistance to enforcement of federal "laws" regarding health care, land use, and taxation. In the event such resistance coalesces, Washington would sure find it helpful to have some federally trained paramilitary cadres in place.
All of this offers one small but significant illustration of the fact that your "local" police can be described as such only in purely geographical terms. It's also a reminder that the Homeland Security Regime is quietly building an army of occupation in even the smallest and most placid communities.
A quick note
I'm sorry it's been so long between updates. I've once again been waylaid by computer problems -- terminal, in the case of my dearly departed desktop.
Thanks so much for helping keep Pro Libertate in business!
Be sure to tune in for Pro Libertate Radio each Saturday night from 8:00-11:00 Mountain Time on the Liberty News Radio Network.
Dum spiro, pugno!
Given I operate a computer helps ministry, I'm particularly sad to hear about your computer troubles. I suppose I'm too far away to simply hand you one of my spares, so all I can do is pray and offer less tangible support.
Dear William, Thanks again for the blogs you give us. We all have 24 hour days but only a few create a better world out of their time. I live up the Payette almost to Horseshoe Bend. My compliments to you on how well you address the issues.
Our county of Montrose (pop. ~35,000) here in western Colorado also has a SWAT team (about a year old now). It is truly disturbing to see.
This may or may not be relevant. Anyway, it reinforces what I keep saying: BELIEVE NOTHING YOU SEE OR HEAR. EVERYTHING IS A LIE.
NY Observer Article: "Untangling the Bizarre CIA Links to the Ground Zero Mosque"....
Well, well, well.
Wonders abound, children.
This revelation that the main (if not the sole) funder of the Ground Zero mosque is a CIA man deeply entangled in CIA front companies, and that Imam Rauf is an FBI asset and Bush Administration spokesperson, is altogether too wonderful for words. Obama, of course, whom the Tea Party Republicans and Birthers accuse of being an immigrant Muslim, fell for their trap and endorsed the "building" of the "mosque," which may all have been a propaganda ploy anyway. After reading this, I doubt they ever even intended to build it.
Of course, apart from the political damage it did in an election year to Obama and all the liberal Democrats endorsing the Imam's right to build the mosque, it has also caused bitterness and discord between Muslim Americans and the rest of the country, and caused America to be hated even more in the Muslim world, and caused the deaths of however many extra American troops in Afghanistan, but isn't that all worth it to plaster egg all over Obama's face? Doesn't that worthy political end justify any means, including a religious civil war and the deaths of American troops?
Ah, America, America, Mr. Reagan's 'shining city on a hill'. So much money, so much power.... " And Satan took Him up unto a high place, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and all the glory thereof, and said to Him: 'All this will I give unto thee, if thou wilt bow down and worship Me.' And He answered and said, 'Get thee behind me, Satan.' "
I guess it takes being the Son of God to have the will power to resist all that.
- Lemuel Gulliver.
PS: So they are not telling the truth about GTI and the militarization of SWAT and your "local" police? Surprise, children! Boo! We gotcha! Ha, ha!!
I suppose one thing that liberty lovers in your neck of the woods (or anywhere else, for that matter) could do as a "preventive" measure is to start identifying the individual members of your "local" SWAT teams. Some people have even suggested that it would benefit the libertarian cause for citizens of that bent to joint local civilian "police auxiliary" units, if for no other reason than to keep an eye on what the "pros" are doing. I don't know how effective a tactic this is, or even if there are such citizen outreach programs in most "police forces" anymore (the "us vs. them" attitude of most "law enforcement" agencies leads me to believe that such programs are not widespread). However, performing as much "intel recon" as possible against your local Fat Blue Line Gang chapter will at least give you some idea of what you and your fellow liberty lovers are up against, in terms of strength, numbers, and support, once the nastiness starts.
Mr. Grigg & Friends,
Here is a link to one of the best articles on Leviathan I have ever read, entitled "The Anatomy of The State."
It is a chapter from the book: "Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays" by Murray N. Rothbard. It is rather long, but a superb analysis. I recommend everyone to read it and understand the enemy that faces us.
Understanding your enemy is the first step to defeating him. Here's the link:
Please, please everyone, do yourself, your family, and your fellow sufferers a favor and read it. You will be a wiser person afterwards.
- Lemuel Gulliver
But, but, . . .
We could have a sugar beet uprising. Surely the beets have seen the alfalfa, corn, grain and beans being mowed down. They know they will be next, so I predict they will emerge from the underground wearing turbans and burkas.
Sorry, couldn't resist a little sarcasm and humor.
Personally, I think it absurd to even have a SWAT team in Idaho. Seriously, when was the last time a legitimate SWAT event occurred?? I've lived here a lifetime and never seen such other than the staged stuff like Ruby Ridge.
I think the attitude of playing and getting paid for it is noteworthy. This is the mentality of these cretins.
As far as the old fashioned leo's some of them are becoming increasingly nervous. Especially in the rural counties. They know they could easily disappear and never be found if the SHTF.
But Idaho politicians are good-ole-boys who will chew any rope for a place at the fed funding trough.
In Male Fide
Sic Semper Tyrannis
Soon the SWAT team will be getting weekly if not daily use serving "high risk" warrants. Of course if you live in a rural area, every warrant will be "high risk" due to the large number of households that own weapons.
I wonder if the Feds are giving training on shooting dogs? That does seem to be the SOP for most police agencies now days.
I can see the curriculum now.
101 Dog Shooting
201 Tazering mundanes who don't bow to you.
301 Saying "My life was in danger" with a straight face after you shoot the crippled 73 year old woman.
401 How to click your heels and give a straight arm salute.
What are the SWAT teams going to do next? Gun down rioting food stamp recipients on their allotted Saturday grocery trek when they find out the shelves are bare?
So remember. Tuesday is Soylent Green day.
Get me the hell out of this country! What a weird place.
This is fun! Pissing away my money by the bucket full so those limp dicks can play in the dirt. Shame on us citizens of this once great nation to tolerate this waste of our freedoms. could have been handled by three Mexican(legal) laborers with weedwackers for 1/10,000th the cost. This bullsh*t is not protecting me neither is any military action this country has been involved in since the Revolution.
I have fond memories of Vale from when I lived there as a tot in the 1950's. I'm very sorry to learn that it is now overrun with rampaging government thugs. Poor sad Vale is a metaphor for the entire nation. R.I.P.
Dear Mr. Grigg,
I noticed you used the phrase "war on terror" in your blog post. Shouldn't it be, "war on Terra"? At least that's what I call it.
I imagine that where they play in the dirt the surrounding grass was regularly cut like a fine golf course. They probably got to stay in the best hotel in the area while they were there, and all the drinks were on us?
The things people think are important, I guess... As a toothless homeless guy shuffles past carrying his plastic trash bag full of empty cans and bottles on his way to make a buck to help pay for it all.
On the backs of the little people they ride, and oh how they ride.
Great post. Keep them coming and good luck with your computer issues.
Just this weekend, near my New Jersey home, I saw an olive-drab armored HUMVEE approaching an intersection I was stopped at, with the word "POLICE" stenciled above its windshield, and "Homeland Security" on the side, along with some bullcrap logo. I remarked to my wife "Posse Comitatus is dead."
Almost fell off my chair at the "your local Fat Blue Line Gang chapter" reference..
Gotta remember that one!!
Just read something on the NYT site that just confirms what Will has been so eloquently speaking about.. Never ever go to the cops for anything..
This poor woman lost her daughter for 3 years because the border patrol did not want to spend (200 bucks) "a lot of money.."
Family Fight, Border Patrol Raid, Baby Deported
On the morning of Dec. 3, 2003, agents raided the trailer and seized Mr. Gallardo, who was wanted for questioning as a witness to a murder. They also took Rosa. Then they told Ms. Castro she had until that afternoon to get a court order if she wanted to keep her daughter.
A frantic lawyer rushed to court, and she called to plead for more time. But there was no court order yet when the government van arrived around 3 p.m., and agents hustled father and daughter into it for the long ride to the border. "....
"Holding Mr. Gallardo and the girl overnight, long enough for an American court to sort things out, would have involved “a tremendous amount of money,” Gregory L. Kurupas, the agent in charge of the Lubbock and Amarillo stations at the time, testified in a 2006 deposition.
Asked to quantify the daunting sum, Agent Kurupas replied, “Well over $200 plus.” "
Common sense and decency has no place in our great state burocracy!!
I can't imagine losing my kid because of a very avoidable "paperwork" issue
I also want to thank Will for all he does against these injustices
The last big operation for the SWAT team in Cody, Wyoming, was to take down an old duffer who was shooting at a hornet's nest under his eaves with a pellet gun. How could we survive without these brave warriors?
There will never be any shortage of lowlifes to recruit for trampling people for fun and profit. We'll see how these evil bastards make out when the empire crashes...
I live in the general area and the reason for these teams in rural areas seems obvious to me (but I'm probably wrong anyhow!).
When I was an "adviser" in Vietnam, one of our big programs was establishing an irregular force drawn from the same population as the Viet Cong. They proved to have more influence on the civilians than the regular ARVN troops did.
Most of Southern Idaho and Eastern Oregon (and many other places in the US) is "militia-light country. No formalized structure or uniforms but well trained and bonded with the understanding that, at some point, they can/will mobilize into a force to resist an oppressor.
Sounds kinda goofy, I know. Guess you'd have to liver here to understand it but the bond is there and it is strong and I think these Level III SWAT teams are intended to counter it.
I have almost finished reading Edward B. Westermann's book "Hitler's Police Battalions" and it is ironic that Hitler and Himmler militarized the police to help achieve their racial policies and we are doing the same to reach these and other goals.
What's in a name?
"Malheur" is French for bad luck or misfortune.
Oh, and the poster jesting about a sugar beet uprising may actually have a point, sort of:
With genetically modified alfalfa and sugar beet staged to join the existing GM repertoire of corn and soybeans soon, I'm sure the occupation force will also be deployed on behalf of Monsanto to keep protesters out of fields and confiscate the inadvertently contaminated crops of those farmers who planted conventional seed.
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